The potential purchase of TikTok’s U.S. operations by Microsoft has provoked an outcry among social media users in China, and from a prominent investor in TikTok and its parent company ByteDance.
Sara Hsu, a visiting scholar at Shanghai’s Fudan University and an expert on the Chinese economy, explains the purchase is “contentious,” as many in China believe the company is “giving in to U.S. government demands.”
The U.S. tech giant formally declared its interest in acquiring TikTok on Sunday after President Donald Trump, who had threatened to ban the short-video app from the U.S. over national security concerns, reversed course giving the two companies 45 days to come to an agreement.
Hsu said the acquisition would set a “precedent” for other Chinese firms that hope to do business in the United States, creating an increased political risk for those companies.
The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which has the authority to block any agreement.
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